Monday, November 24, 2008

Some Reflections on Sustainability from Jan 2007 (After My 62nd)

Is sustainability necessarily of importance to the people of Seguin?

I think it is important to current Seguinites and to future Seguinites—and this includes all people and other species. Diversity makes life “interesting” and really worth living for all life forms. Without sufficient quality water, rich top soils, and effective capture of daily solar energy by photosynthesizers—diversity is limited. And diversity is a basic tenet of sustainability.

The Renaissance, the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment have long since taken place, and many decision-makers realize we have the knowledge, power and responsibility to change the human and world condition toward enhancing rather than destroying biotic diversity, toward sustainability, and toward quality life for all. In addition, we know that asphalt and concrete and glass and steel and plastic--and other components of artificially built structures and environment (which are spreading over or indirectly extracting from climax ecological communities)--do not sustainably grow food, fiber or shelter—and do not produce the oxygen needed for many life forms, but rather produce excessive amounts of carbon dioxide and pollutants. Science, common sense, and intuition tell us we need to make some drastic changes away from built and financial capital ... to natural, and social capital. And that important change must begin locally—and right now!

Of course a major problem is that a significant percent of humans in the world do feel that at some level, they do have quality life—and they are satisfied, even addicted to the fossil-fuel dependent built-environment, and current political, social, cultural, and financial systems. They get more than their share of abundant calories and have the potential to select appropriate nutrients. They live, work, travel and exercise in a relatively comfortable temperature year-round. They have the muscle and power of wheels with more than one hundred horses (and some artificial horses can even be employed to give them needed exercise with a moving road or water stream). Entertainment and “education” is electronic and remotely controlled with their fingertips. Moreover, under these artificial conditions, they tend to forget and distance themselves more and more from Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq; favelas, slum and ghettos; the horrific (non)living conditions of other cultures and ethnicities; eroded Land, air and water pollution, species extinction, desertification, Global Climate Change; or even the spiritually empty Mother, Father or Child next door. This is despite the fact and because of the fact--that it is right there on the radio or TV screen in their own little isolated and falsely “secure” industrialized home.

And it is these satisfied people with the power … that have The Power.
Nevertheless change toward more equity and humaneness for all humans and other species must begin locally and globally—and in the very immediate future. Perhaps it won’t be easy. However, it is doable--and can be fun.

Therefore, deep down, intuitively, using our common-sense and critical and creative thinking capacities and involving science, we know we need to change, and that we must start immediately. I (and many others) have some sound ideas for short-term and longer-term actions in Seguin (and for south central Texas, the U.S., the world).

These proposed actions (mostly attempts at getting us to conserve as a local and world community--and to make certain that "'ours' are sustainable livelihoods"!) are really nothing new. However, I do hope to personally work harder at realizing them myself until I pass away. And I hope others will really join in, and help to spread active lifestyles of “Conservation and Development of Sustainable Community” or “Positively Ethical Applied Community Ecology” long after I and they pass.

No comments: